cholla

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noun chol·la \ˈchȯi-yə\

Definition of cholla

  1. :  any of numerous shrubby opuntias chiefly of the southwestern United States and Mexico that have needlelike spines partly enclosed in a papery sheath and cylindrical joints —called also cholla cactus

Did You Know?

A shrubby cactus chiefly of the southwestern United States and Mexico, a cholla has cylindrical joints and needlelike spines partly enclosed in a papery sheath. Chollas vary greatly in size and have small flowers that are sometimes yellow-green and inconspicuous, but usually of more striking colors. One cholla, the desert Christmas cactus, bears bright red fruits through the winter. Living plants serve as food for desert animals. Cholla wood, a hollow cylinder with regularly spaced holes, is used for fuel and decorative novelties. Some cholla fruit is edible.

Illustration of cholla

Origin and Etymology of cholla

Mexican Spanish, from Spanish, head


First Known Use: 1846


Learn More about cholla

  1. Spanish Central: Translation of cholla Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cholla


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